Barren Earth Recording New Album; Issues Studio Update
Band Photo: Barren Earth (?)
Finnish progressive death metal act Barren Earth is currently in the studio recording the follow-up to 2010's "Curse of the Red River" (reviewed here). Keyboardist Kasper Mårtenson has now checked in with the following extensive recording update:
"And so it is that the ’super-group’, darling of the critics, Finnish Metal Expo’s Newcomer of the Year 2010 as well as the winner of Metal Storm’s Best Debut Album 2010, Barren Earth, has once again entered the studio. Our first venture into the realms of audio recording took place back in 2008, when we went in to cut our first (and only) demo. Summer 2009 saw the recording of our debut album, The Curse of the Red River, which was released in April last year. Since then, we’ve played quite a few shows, most notably in North America, where we did 28 dates earlier this year. The material played live has consisted of material from the album (as well as the Our Twilight EP, recorded in conjunction with the album), but new material has steadily been written, and now the time has come for those new tracks to be properly recorded. In other words, Barren Earth’s Studio Escapade Number 3 has commenced!
"All in all there are 12 new tracks. It is as of yet unclear which tracks will make the final album, but the aim is certainly to record all of them. The oldest of these tunes was rehearsed already at the end of 2009. Since then, the stream of new songs has been flowing steadily. New songs have emerged, but they have been subject to constant alterations. There have been all kinds of changes: the order of riffs has changed, specific notes have been altered, there have been structural shifting, verses have been added, omitted, re-added, re-omitted, only to be added once again. But this is only one aspect of the changes which have occurred. Also the titles have been in a perpetual state of metamorphosis.
"In the old days one usually had a working title which was eventually replaced with the actual title, once the lyrics were completed. Not so anymore, as a song can now have as many as 4 different titles, much to the chagrin of the engineer who is desperately trying to keep track on which song is which. One example is a certain new track which still hasn’t got a final name. Its original working title was Le Brouillard, which means fog in French; perhaps referring to our pleasant visits to Quebec City and Montreal. But since none of us is particularly fluent in French, it soon got transformed into Le Brouiller. Soon, this too proved tricky. After a short spell as LeBro, it is now widely referred to as Sumu, which is fog in Finnish. I hope the fog around the title clears soon, as to allow a proper name to emerge. We are hoping to find a good title from the lyrics. As they are written by Mikko, it’s probably going to be pretty foggy stuff anyway.
"Another area where frequent changes have occurred are the tempos. Some songs have proven tricky tempowise. Sometimes a song has been deemed too fast, sometimes too slow. Different bpm-rates have been tried and tested. These have tempo-rarily (pun most definitely intended) been deemed suitable, only to be followed by gnawing doubts. This tempo changing continued throughout the rehearsals. Presently it continues in the recording studio. In fact, I think it won’t stop until the album is in the shops, and maybe not even then.
"During the first day in the studio, Sami picked up a banjo, which happened to be lying around. Some pretty cool country-style finger picking was soon heard. Impressed by this, it was then pondered if the banjo could be featured on the new album. This is not a new thing. There seems to be a jolly desire to utilize random instruments, just because they happen to be there, regardless of if the music itself requires them or not. But jolly and fun as these ideas are, upon seeing a recorder flute lying on the table, I thought it best to discreetly put it somewhere out of sight…"
Details on the new album will be announced as they are made available. In the mean time, you can check out footage of the band performing the song "Forlorn Waves" by heading over here.
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